TPM News

Appearing on Fox News today, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) fired back at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-NV) criticism of Republicans like himself who favor changing the 14th Amendment in order to eliminate birthright citizenship for the U.S.-born children of illegal immigrant parents.

Graham was asked about Reid's statement that Republicans backing this idea -- including Graham, who has said he wants to introduce a new constitutional amendment -- have "either taken leave of their senses or their principles."

"Have I taken leave of my senses by looking at a law that rewards people who break our own laws, that incentivizes the next wave of illegal immigration?" said Graham. "Am I being unfair to say that we're gonna grant citizenship on our terms, not yours? Am I being unfair to say that we don't want laws in place that will require the third wave of illegal immigrants to be dealt with.

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While yesterday's vote in Missouri against national health care reform will have little substantive impact on the federal health care reform law, Republicans nonetheless are hailing it as a major victory for their side. Voters in the Show Me State overwhelmingly voted to change Missouri statutes so the mandate for insurance coverage wouldn't apply, a symbolic gesture that everyone acknowledges is highly unlikely to have any effect on the federal health care reform law (absent major and unexpected changes to established legal precedent).

But don't tell RNC Chairman Michael Steele, House Minority Leader John Boehner or former Alaska governor Sarah Palin that.

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A week after announcing they would be representing South Carolina Democrat Alvin Greene in his campaign for Senate, the L.A.-based consulting firm the Warren Group announced they were splitting with Greene.

But now, less than a week after that announcement, the Warren Group says they're back on the Greene campaign, and "according to Alvin, we never left."

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An anonymous source in the Republican National Committee told CNN today that the committee, at its summer meeting in Kansas City, has voted to investigate the source of recent leaks to the media.

The RNC has had a series of embarrassing leaks lately, some silly and some more serious: A memo from the treasurer accusing top officials of hiding the committee's debt; the departure of top fund-raisers; and weird emails, written by interns, asking foreign ambassadors to meet with Steele.

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Former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN), who is rumored to be considering a challenge to Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, is skipping the RNC's summer meeting, which is beginning today in Kansas City, Missouri.

Coleman was originally supposed to attend. As CNN reports, Coleman's spokesperson did not give a reason for his late change in plans.

This could be a sign that Coleman is trying to tone down the speculation about him possibly running...which might be a sign that he is running...or that he's not running but wants us to talk about him...or...

Yeah, this stuff can get confusing.

Sharron Angle's campaign is staffing up with a more seasoned national player, with the campaign announcing Tuesday that they had named Jarrod Agen as their new communications director.

Agen has in the past served as communications director in California for the gubernatorial campaign of Steve Poizner in the Republican primary (lost), was a regional communications director for Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign (lost), and worked for the Ohio Republican Party on President George W. Bush's 2004 re-election (won), and was director of press logistics at the 2004 GOP convention in New York City.

He has also held positions in the Department of Homeland Security, and with some organizations that the right wing usually hates: the State Department, the Environmental Protection Agency -- and MSNBC.

The TPM Poll Average currently gives Harry Reid a lead of 45.1%-42.7%.

A new Rasmussen poll of the Florida governor's race shows Democrat Alex Sink trailing GOP frontrunner Rick Scott, but leading Republican state Attorney General Bill McCollum -- a first in Rasmussen's polling. The new survey puts Scott ahead of Sink 35%-31%, with Independent Bud Chiles in third with 16%. Against McCollum, Sink is out in front 31%-27%, while Chiles takes 20%.

All signs point to Scott becoming the Republican nominee in the August 24 primary. He's well ahead in the polls, and has a huge financial advantage over McCollum.

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It has become commonplace for Republicans to claim that Democratic policies violate this or that part of the Constitution. But Nevada's Senate Republican candidate Sharron Angle is taking that one step further, claiming that her opponent's legislative victories amount to a violation of the Bible's First Commandment.

"[T]hese programs that you mentioned -- that [President] Obama has going with [Harry] Reid and [Nancy] Pelosi pushing them forward -- are all entitlement programs built to make government our God," Angle said in a little noticed interview with Christian Radio this past spring. "And that's really what's happening in this country is a violation of the First Commandment. We have become a country entrenched in idolatry, and that idolatry is the dependency upon our government. We're supposed to depend upon God for our protection and our provision and for our daily bread, not for our government."

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